Nursing Times Award Winner

The kindness of strangers

Travelling around the country to visit, or run, a multitude of Kissing it Better projects is hard work, but immensely rewarding. Wherever we go, we meet wonderful groups of people, all keen to offer their time and talent to those less fortunate than themselves.

Whether it's a three year old reciting a nursery rhyme or a choir of retired ladies singing popular songs, the response from patients in hospital and residents of care homes is always immensely moving. They all seem so touched that people in their local community are prepared to give up their time to make a real difference to theirs.

It is particularly rewarding when someone, who may have lost their short term memory, can respond to a familiar song or poem, often recalling every word. In those instances their faces are often mixture of delight and relief that they have found an anchor in what is sometimes a frightening and bewildering world.

In the last couple of years, since we started this project in earnest, we have connected with thousands of people across the country who have all been delighted to get involved.

Feedback from those receiving, and giving, this loving care has been very moving.

From a relative...

Hello, Mum died on the 11.11.11. I remember how she enjoyed the poem you read her by Kipling IF. I miss her terribly but I will always remember that day. I am an only child and no children so I feel a bit lost withouther right now. Keep up the good work if one day I can help you please let me know. God bless and enjoy your Christmas with your family.

From a pupil at a local school.....

Doing voluntary work with the charity, Kissing it Better, was one of the most incredible and heart-warming experiences of my life. It was such a fulfilling feeling when you watched somebody slowly recollect the lines of a poem or the lyrics to a song and a warm smile begins to spread across their face. Or even just talking to someone who is lonely and they want to tell you their anecdotes and you hear the most incredible of stories. You learn a lot about different peoples’ traditions or cultures and you learn quite a lot about how the hospital works. It is a wonderfully rewarding experience that I would be delighted to take part in again and again, and it has reinforced my love of working with people.

To those people, and the countless others who give their time so freely, we are so grateful for their incredible support and encouragement.


Jill Fraser

Jill Fraser

Inspire others: Submit your idea